at Indiana Pacers (25-35) Boston Celtics (46-13)
Friday, February 27
Game #60, Home Game#29
TV: CSN HD, FSI, LP NBA 3, LP 754
TD Banknorth Garden ProbableStarting Matchups PointGuard
Rajon Rondo vs TJ Ford Shooting Guard
Ray Allen vs Jarrett Jack Small Forward
Paul Pierce vs Marquis Daniels Power Forward
Big Baby Davis vs Troy Murphy Center
Kendrick Perkins vs Roy Hibbert Off the Bench
Kevin Garnett (knee) out
Tony Allen (thumb) out
Brian Scalabrine (neck) out
Paul Pierce (thumb) probable Off the Bench
Mike Dunleavy (knee) day to day
TJ Ford (flu) probable
Danny Granger (foot) out Matchups to Watch
Rajon Rondo vs TJ Ford
TJ Ford is one of the very few point guards who may be even faster than Rajon Rondo. They have played each other fairly even in the past with Rondo coming out ahead in some games and TJ coming out ahead in some games. TJ missed the Pacer's last game with the flu so he it is still up in the air whether he will play in this one and if he does, the flu may have slowed him somewhat. Hopefully he will play because this is a fun matchup to watch.
Paul Pierce vs Marquis Daniels
Paul Pierce normally has to deal with Danny Granger, who has always been a tough matchup for him. With Granger out, Pierce will be matched up with Marquis Daniels. With Pierce's thumb injury from the Clippers game, Doc may decide it is a good time to give him a rest and give Bill Walker a chance to show what he can do. Even with the thumb injury, Pierce should be able to get the best of this matchup. Honorable Mention
Kendrick Perkins vs Roy Hibbert
Hibbert has the height advantage but Perk has the strength advantage. Should be quite a battle between these two big men. Players to Watch
Mikki Moore and
Mikki will be playing in his second game and will have had a day to work on learning the Celtics system. Reports in the NY Times indicate that Marbury will be in uniform for the Celtics on Friday for his first game in over a year. It is safe to say that there will be some rust, but how he approaches the game may indicate how much he will buy into the Celtics' system.
Danny Granger and JR Giddens are both former New Mexico Lobos
Rasho Nesterovic and KG were teammates in Minnesota from 1998-2003
Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien coached the Celtics from 2001-2004
Pacers assistant coaches Harter, Conner, and Vogel were assistants under Obie in Boston from 2001-2004
Pacers GM Larry Bird won 3 rings in Boston and his number was retired on 2/04/93Game Notes
The Celtics lead the series 2-1 this season after a loss in Indiana's home opener and a win in both Boston and Indiana in December.
Indiana is a strong home team, but has faltered on the road with a 7-24 record away from Conseco. The Celtics have taken care of their home court pretty well and are 24-4 at the Garden. Both teams are 6-4 in their last 10 games with the Pacers coming off a win over the Grizzlies and the Celtics limping home after a loss to the Clippers.
The Pacers are the only team to beat all of the leading contenders this season, having beat the Celtics, Lakers, Cavs and Magic at least once this season. They are a tough team and shouldn't be taken lightly. X Factor
Injuries and Fatigue
The Celtics have several key players out and will be tired from the road trip they are coming off of. They will have to regroup and players will have to step up if they expect to win this game.